I really love when God opens my eyes to something new and profound when I’m reading His word. Here’s something that He’s been showing me recently:
16 “During the battle the five kings escaped and hid in a cave at Makkedah. 17 When Joshua heard that they had been found, 18 he issued this command: “Cover the opening of the cave with large rocks, and place guards at the entrance to keep the kings inside. 19 The rest of you continue chasing the enemy and cut them down from the rear. Don’t give them a chance to get back to their towns, for the Lord your God has given you victory over them.” Joshua 10:16-19
Backstory: God tells Joshua that he and his army are going to take over many kingdoms and they are going to be granted several victories. Unexpected victories, where Joshua and his army are severely outnumbered or win by walking in circles around a city wall. In this passage, Joshua and his men are battling 5 kings and their armies in a victory God has predestined for them.
I love in this passage how Joshua tells his men in advance of the battle – “for the Lord your God has given you victory over them.” His battle speech isn’t “you guys are awesome” or “all that work in the gym is paying off as we fight the opposition”, no, Joshua gives the glory to God in ADVANCE of the victory.
So often we give God the glory when we’ve won – after the diagnosis of remission, after the marriage has been restored, after our kids get on the right track, once we’ve won the championship. But I love how Joshua gives glory to God before the battle. Not that it is going to be their (the army’s) strength or their abilities, but that they are going to win this because God is going to give it to them. They are praising God before they know the outcome and they don’t know what it will take. Will it be a 2 week battle or a grueling 5 year battle. They just trust that God is going to deliver them a victory.
I hope that I start doing a better job of this in my life – praising God before I know He’s going to come through. Praising Him while I’m still climbing the terrain- unsure of whether my path is taking me to the top of the mountain or the pit of a valley. Praising Him because I trust Him.